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“Dave,” presumably a teacher or administrator in a Northwest-suburban school district, using the district’s e-mail address and most likely a school computer paid-for by taxpayers, sent the following rather slipshod e-mail to TUA President Jim Tobin:

“I read your remarks made about teachers receiving a greater pension then [sic] ]people who work 50 weeks a years [sic].  STOP!, teachers on a daily bases [sic] take their grading and planning home and work late evenings.  Most jobs make [sic] two to three times the salary as a teacher and leave their jobs without bring [sic] work home.  With the direction Illinois is headed, you will see teachers leave grading and planning at school (work when their [sic] “on the clock”).  It sounds like you want quailty [sic] public education, but don’t want to pay a dime of your own money for it.  Just remember while your destroying education, the public services make the community, not the selfish tax watch people.  Stop comparing private industry to public work.”

TUA Director of Outreach Rae Ann McNeilly responds:

I think you have completely missed the point of the TUA pension work; all government employees should be paid a fair and competitive wage for the work they do today, that allows them to save for their own retirement through a 401(k) program. The pension system does not work. This is not an opinion or a “left/right” argument; it is simple mathematics. Taxpayers can’t afford to pay people not to work, for more years than they are paid to work, whether they are teachers, administrators or legislators. Cities and states across the country are going broke as a direct result of this unsustainable system.

As for public school teachers’ pay being lower than private sector comparable work, that is a myth.  Using 2007-2008 data (the latest available), the average “total school-year and summer earned income” for public school teachers was $53,230 . The equivalent for private-school teachers was $39,690. This is the only apples-to-apples comparison one can make. Government school teachers make far more, and that is before receiving their gold-plated pensions.

Teachers and other government employees are used by union bosses and politicians to keep their lofty positions of power. Unions force money from the rank and file to pay their own fat salaries and make campaign contributions to the pols who will keep them in power. At some point, most government employees figure this out, but few call-out the power brokers for their misdeeds, else they lose their own golden parachute.